Mama, I'm Swollen
Years before lonely-heart emo kids began making bedroom confessions about their broken-down love lives, Tim Kasher was there. The Cursive frontman has been releasing records for a dozen years now, chronicling the up-and-down affairs of his heart. He's expanded his stories and sonic palette over the years (2006's Happy Hollow was seeped in conceptual narrative), but he's never sounded as grown up as he does on Mama, I'm Swollen, the band's sixth album. Kasher is still introspective to a fault ("I Couldn't Love You"), but he's also exploring subjects somewhat alien to him ("Caveman" shakes his family tree and a Neanderthal falls out). Meanwhile, the rest of the guys in Cursive pile on riffs, instruments and blasts of noise that underline the gravity of Kasher's words. He still doesn't have any answers about what makes men and women tick, but now that he's in his 30s, he has a better understanding of the thin line that divides them.